January 14, 2009

weekend pizza

Trying to add whole grains to baked goods can be a challenge but thanks to Culinary in the Country, I got both the inspiration and some helpful tips to make this whole wheat crust pizza. The crust was made healthier with an equal combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. I had to add a little more whole wheat flour to the dough mixture but next time I will adjust the water to 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup and just add more water if needed. The pizza turned out perfect. Instead of pizza sauce, I tried to use a bread dip mixture of fresh chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. This dip is our favorite at a local Italian restaurant we like. I made my smaller part of the pizza simpler with just the dip, some sliced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, olives, a little Italian sausage and cheese, but my husband had everything on his part of the pizza. I baked it using our oven's aero bake setting since it's the cooking mode suggested for pizzas. The crust was an ideal combination of both thin and crispy in the middle part with the edges nice and chewy. The topping combinations and ideas are endless. Aside from being able to control the quality of the ingredients, it was actually fun making pizza at home and of course, there's nothing like having it piping hot straight from the oven, the way you really want it.

1. Whole wheat pizza dough was easy to roll out. We like rolling it out using a pizza roller directly on the pan. 2. Our favorite bread dip made with chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. I used this to flavor the pizza instead of the usual pizza sauce. 3. The olive oil dip or dressing spread out evenly on the rolled out dough. 4. The toppings we used were Italian sausage, chopped fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced black olives, green bell pepper, red onions and mushrooms. 5. The toppings on top of the dough prior to sprinkling the cheese. 6. The finished product, just out of the oven.

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